The Simple and Powerful Truths of Homeownership

This article originally appeared on Noozhawk and is reprinted here with permission from the author.

This week I wanted to give my readers who are renters a simple reminder about all the reasons why homeownership is a good idea.

1. Paying off a mortgage over time: I think all renters can agree that it really hurts knowing you pay a large amount of money in rent every month and that you will never see that money again. Conversely, with most mortgages, a portion of your monthly payment is applied to reducing the principal balance itself and the other portion is an interest payment.

Personally, I love watching my mortgage balance go down every month, knowing it will eventually be fully paid off and my living expenses will go way down at that time because I will no longer have a mortgage.

2. Mortgage Interest Tax Deduction: This year, couples filing jointly may deduct interest on qualified home loans up to $750,000. This is a great deduction that helps so many homeowners during tax time. This would be an approximately $20,000 deduction on a $500,000 conventional loan at 4 percent. Talk to your accountant to learn more about this.

3. Property Tax Deduction: For 2019 you deduct up to $10,000 ($5,000 if married filing separately) for a combination of property taxes and either state and local income taxes or sales taxes. Again, this offers further financial assistance when you are filing your taxes. Again,  this is another topic to chat about with your accountant.

4. Stability: As long as you make a responsible purchase, you can rest assured you will never be forced to move unless you want to. This stability helps homeowners plan for the future and better establish themselves in their community.

5. Appreciation: While real estate markets are in a constant state of flux, history has shown us that values increase over time. So in addition to paying off a mortgage over time and utilizing the tax benefits associated with homeownership, the value of your home will likely increase over time. Sadly, renters are not able to reap any of these benefits.

6. Increasing the value of your home through improvements: It’s as simple as it sounds. If your home is located in an area that can support higher values than what you paid, you should be able to invest time and money into the appeal and condition of your home to increase its value. Again, a renter does not have this opportunity.

These are just some of the reasons ownership is so appealing. I’m not mentioning them to make anyone feel badly for renting, or to say renting is not an appropriate option/choice for some. Everyone has a unique situation and ownership is not for everyone.

That said, if any of the above reasons piques your interest, the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors recommends you “Call your Realtor” and a local lender to help you determine if ownership is a good path for you.

— Thomas Schultheis is with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties, and can be reached at 805.729.2802 or SbRealtorTom@gmail.com.

How to Work Your Referral Database

Kat Hitchcock, agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties and member of the national REthink Council, is a huge believer that your database is the lifeline of an ever-expanding real estate business. In this vlog, she explains how to work your referral database to generate leads and reach new levels of success.

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Is It Time to Hire an Assistant?

By Andy Blake

A question I’m asked frequently is, “How do I know when it’s time to hire an assistant?”

As a real estate agent, it’s easy to get used to doing everything yourself; you work hard to cut costs and try to juggle it all. However, there is a point when too much work can burn you out and hurt your business. Here are a few things to take into consideration when trying to decide if it’s time to send for help:

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How to Hold a Successful Open House (And Generate Leads While Doing It)

By Dallas Eichers

Everyone seems to be looking for a magic wand to generate leads. Wave your wand once and buyers and sellers are delivered right to your office door. Of course, there’s no such thing and lead generation programs offer the next-best solution, though not all programs are effective and some are too expensive to be worthwhile. Don’t get me wrong: There are agents who are wildly successful using lead-generation programs but the majority of real estate professionals tend to throw money at systems with few results.

What’s an agent to do when looking to generate new leads and meet new people? The answer is simple: Hold open houses!

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Real Estate Agent Myths: Reality vs. TV

By Vanessa Patterson

There’s a big difference between what you see on TV and what it actually takes to make it as a real estate professional. Vanessa Patterson, agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty, shares the real story of real estate … the one cameras won’t show you.

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Dear Fellow Real Estate Agent: Could you PLEASE Communicate?

By Jake Breen

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What to Know If You’re Just Starting Your Real Estate Career

By Josh Stephens

The time has come. You just finished another episode of Million Dollar Listing and decided that you are ready for a career change. You want to become a real estate agent. Why not? It looks to be easy, lucrative and a lot of fun.

However, the top 1% of real estate agents you see on television are not great examples of what it’s like for everyone in the industry, especially those in their first year as agents. In fact, the amount of people that fail within their first year in real estate far exceeds the amount of agents who succeed. The reasons for this vary but ultimately, it is because of the individual’s understanding about what it takes to be a successful real estate agent.

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Tips for Selling Luxury Real Estate

By Onie Bolduc

The key to selling luxury real estate is emotion. You must find out what is driving the desire for each individual buyer to make a luxury purchase. About 99% of the time, it’s emotion driving the purchase but it’s not the same emotion for each buyer.

Luxury, according to Dictionary.com, is defined as “a material object, service, etc. conducive to sumptuous living, usually a delicacy, elegance or refinement of living rather than a necessity.” Something luxurious is something above a necessity and the desire to have this luxurious thing—whether it be a house, a piece of jewelry or a high-end car—is driven by emotion. 

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